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When Angela Ivery’s manager asked if her biography was up to date she had no idea what he was about to do.

Several months later, Ivery got a call that she was a nominee for a Women of Color STEM Award for Corporate Responsibility. On Thursday’s #STEMISAGIRLTHING webinar, Ivery talked about what the recognition means to her and what kind of work environment made that possible.

Ivery began her career with Lockheed Martin Corporation in 2004, as a site lead for Enterprise Business Services supporting Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth. She had recently earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Texas A&M University.

“I learned skills during one internship that ultimately set me on the path to where I am now and I didn’t even know it at the time,” Ivery told Women of Color magazine.

Almost six years after joining the aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company that employs more than 50,000 engineers, scientists and technology professionals, Ivery became a project manager in Aeronautics Supply Chain Management. Along the way, she’d earned a master’s degree in Business Administration -Project Management and Management Information Systems from Dallas Baptist University.

A Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt in supply chain management, she works to improve the quality output of process by removing errors and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. As a Black Belt, she is responsible for managing and facilitating continuous improvement activities.

“In supply chain management I am able to facilitate process improvement projects with internal and external customers,” Ivery said.

“I lead cross functional teams to streamline operations internally and externally, assess problems and obstacles to scheduling /planning, quality, inventory management and manufacturing operations and facilitate process improvement activities.”

Currently, she’s focused on how her business unit sources suppliers, and ways to improve sourcing so Lockheed can have on time deliveries.

Earning the Women of Color Corporate Responsibility Award “means that I am making a difference to the organization and someone is paying attention to my accomplishments,” Ivery said Thursday.

“My environment is one where we have open communication, one where we can speak up and have no fear of retaliation,” Ivery told Women of Color STEM Webinar host Tyrone Taborn, founder and CEO of Career Communications Group (CCG).

CCG is the media company behind Women of Color magazine and its annual Women of Color Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference.

“An environment where women thrive is a respectful one,” Ivery said. It “allows open communication, where contributions are acknowledged, nurtured and encouraged. Where all can participate, contribute to and benefit from the work environment,” Ivery added.

“My manager has an open door policy and that helps encourage me as I go along, confident that he’ll give me advice in a safe environment,” she said.

How does one prepare for her job?

“I wanted a journalism degree,” she reflected. “But after I got it, I looked at an internship position, at what am I lacking. What are my areas for development.

“I’m mid-career and at the point where I have a child, I have a family, and that’s something I have to take into consideration as well,” Ivery said.

Ivery suggests early-career professionals should get a mentor from day one.

“Work with them on a career development plan. That’s something I didn’t do for one to two years into my career. Think about where you want to be and what steps you need to take to get there,” she said.

In the next few years, Ivery sees herself going into a leadership role.

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